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CNA reports first-quarter profit

Profit growth

CNA Financial Corp. on Monday reported $342 million in net income for the 2019 first quarter, a 17.5% increase from the comparable period a year ago.

The rise also represented a swing back to profit from the insurer’s $84 million loss for the fourth quarter of 2018, which was impacted by higher catastrophe losses and lower investment earnings.

Revenue for the quarter increased 6.3% over the prior-year period to $2.7 billion, while net investment income for the quarter increased 16.5%, to $571 million, the insurer said in its earnings report.

“CNA had a strong start to the year, generating core income of $1.17 per share,” Dino E. Robusto, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“Our underlying combined ratio of 94.9% is lower than 2018’s full year 95.4%, our U.S. (property/casualty) segments generated good premium growth, premium rate increases improved on many major lines, investment income rebounded favorably, and long-term care once again generated positive core income,” Mr. Robusto said.

In the Chicago-based insurer’s property/casualty operations, net written premiums were relatively flat at $1.81 billion, and the unit reported a 97.8% combined ratio vs. 93.1% for the prior-year quarter.

Net written premiums for its specialty operations increased 1.8% to $698 million, with a 92.3% combined ratio vs. 87.5% for the comparable quarter a year ago.

Commercial net written premiums increased 2% to $849 million, while the operation reported a 101.3% combined ratio vs. 97.1% for 2018’s first quarter.





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